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State inspectors won't investigate swing ride accident that injured 2 at Ohio amusement park

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SANDUSKY, Ohio - Ohio's amusement ride inspectors won't be conducting an official investigation into an accident at Cedar Point that injured at least two people, but will have to give the OK for the swing ride to reopen.

The state only investigates accidents when someone is admitted to a hospital or stays overnight.

Two people were hurt Saturday night when a cable snapped on the Skyhawk ride that swings up to 125 feet in the air, said Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards. One person was treated at the park and another was treated at a hospital, Edwards said. Details were not released about the severity of the injuries or whether those injured were on the ride or watching it.

Cedar Point has said the ride will remain closed until the park's own investigation into the cause is completed.

State ride inspectors will be at the park in Sandusky later this week to meet with park officials and the ride's manufacturer, said Brett Gates, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which oversees amusement rides in the state.

"We'll need to see what's being done so that the ride can open back up," Gates said Monday.

The ride won't be allowed to reopen until the inspectors review it and any repairs the park might make.

A witness who was near the Skyhawk told The Associated Press on Monday that the cable came off the ride and broke a wooden fence in front of it.

"We heard a whipping noise, a bang and screaming so we ran to the ride to see what had happened," said Kevin Gregg of Barnegat, New Jersey. "The ride was still moving when we got there with people screaming."

Gregg, who operates themeparkmaniacs.com, said he saw one girl walk to an ambulance and a man who was in pain and holding his mouth. By the next morning when the park opened, the cable had been removed and the section of fence was repaired, he said.

Ohio law says an amusement ride owner can't disturb an accident scene until after approval by state inspectors. But because the accident did not result in a hospital stay, the law did not apply, Gates said.

Had the accident resulted in more serious injuries, the inspectors would have interviewed witnesses and ride operators and sought to determine the cause.

Because there will be no official investigation, there will be no report available from the state and details about what happened will not be required to be released.

The state also didn't conduct an investigation when a boat on a water ride at Cedar Point rolled backward down a hill and flipped over into the water a year ago in July. Seven people were hurt, but only one was treated at a hospital.

The Shoot the Rapids water ride remained closed for the rest of the year before opening again this past spring.

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